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Getting closer with ‘remote’ access

By Simen K. Frostad, Chairman

Published in In Broadcast, November 2014



The development of remote control and remote operations is one of the most profound trends reshaping our broadcasting and telecommunications world. It allows operators to evolve radically different business models, make better use of human resources, and pursue market opportunities with greater agility.

With the ability to run and monitor operations remotely, media and telecommunications enterprises can decentralise, regionalise and build unprecedented levels of resilience into their infrastructure. In commercial terms, the ability to run operations remotely means businesses can expand into new territories and acquire new audiences more easily, and at lower cost. It’s now possible to run TV channels on a single board located at a remote transmitter site with no staff, with content fed from any location, and command and control over the net.

Remote operation has always been an important part of the design philosophy at Bridge Technologies. From the start, we’ve had a range of monitoring probes developed for deployment at remote locations, and these have often been ruggedised for extreme conditions. The quality of monitoring information provided by these probes makes it possible for broadcasters and telcos to have the same confidence in an infrastructure node 500 kilometres away as in one across the road.

As the industry seeks more ways to benefit from remote operation, we’ve worked with some of the major operators to exploit our advanced monitoring technologies in new applications, and this was the impetus that led to the introduction of a new line of intelligent switching products for ASI and satellite. These use an array of sophisticated analysis technologies, coupled with a decision engine that can operate according to rules defined by the user for any operating conditions. A wide range of system metrics and rules can be set for validation of the input status on both sources, together with switch-back rules to allow for any combination of fully or partially autonomous scenarios, or manual switching.

Providing a more reliable autonomous switching capability than was possible before, these intelligent switches can nevertheless accommodate semi-manual or completely manual operation if required. The unit supports partial or complete remote control from a network management system, and can be operated in a SuperLocal mode, in which all remote commands are disabled. Front panel illuminated controls and a graphical illuminated representation of the signal path make it simple to understand and control the switches in situations where local manual control is required.

In a world where every device - even if it’s as mundane as a light bulb - is potentially accessible via the internet, even the meaning of the word ‘remote’ is changing: because in many cases, operators have greater understanding and control of their infrastructure devices now, no matter how far away they are located.

Read the article online, In Broadcast

 


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